The Get Up Kids are a young indie/emo band from just outside Kansas City. Originally, the band consisted of James Suptic (guitar) and Rob Pope (bass), who were high school friends, and Matt Pryor (guitar/vocals), who they knew from some of their shows with their old band, Kingpin. Since Robbie's brother Ryan was currently in a different band, they recruited a friend of Jim's from the Kansas City Art Institute, Nathan Shay, to play drums. "Suburban Get Up Kids" was the name of a song by one of Matt's old bands, but the last 3 bands Matt had been in started with "S" and had all broken up. So they dropped the "Suburban" and the Get Up Kids were born.
Their first official "show" happened in December 1994 on the spur of the moment, in a friend's basement, when the band Shift's van broke down outside of town. "It was ridiculous, and we've got pictures to prove it." they say. Although they were all still in school, they found time to practice and record their first 7" at Whoopass Studios in Lincoln, NE. In April of 1996, Nathan Shay went back to St. Louis for the summer to study sculpture and put more time into school, so he and the band parted ways.
Rob's younger brother Ryan was brought in as drummer, but on a temporary basis because friction between Jim and Ryan had caused the breakup of Kingpin. Their first 7" had sold around 2,000 copies and was getting good reviews, so they made their first trips out of town to Fayeteville, AR, Chicago, St. Louis and an overcrowded show at the Slant House in Madison, WI with Mineral and The Promise Ring.
In November 1996, the kids recorded two more 7"s, one for Contrast Records in Rhode Island, and one for Outback Records, in Florida. They sent tapes of those 4 songs to every rock label in The Muscian's Guide To Touring and Promotion and got the attention of Doghouse Records. They were interested in signing the Get Up Kids, but they wanted to put out a 7" to set up the record. Rather than record a fourth 7", they paid back Outback Records and put that 7" out on Doghouse. Those 4 songs were released as the "All Stars" CD EP in June 1997.
Ryan took some time off from high school in April of 1997, and the kids drove to Chicago to record their first full length album, "Four Minute Mile". It was recorded and mixed in two and a half days, after which they packed up and drove home to take Ryan back to school.
Since the kids had a *real* record coming out (ohboy!), they decided to take a year off of school and try being a *real* full-time band. The band played over 200 shows in one year, got to see most of Europe and the enitre US, made friends, went to weddings, and toured Graceland. It was a blast but they were understandably, tired, so they took the summer of 1998 off to work on writing their next album. Instead they learned a Motley Crue cover for a metal tribute record on Triple Crown Records, a Pixies cover for a tribute on Glue Factory Records, a Metroschifter cover for a tribute record on Initial Records and two songs for a Sub Pop singles club 7". Pretty busy for a vacation.
So in the meantime, they decided that it was a good time to make the move to a (semi-)major label. They talked to a lot of record labels and finally decided on Mojo Records. While they negotiated with the label, they went on tour with another Mojo Records band, MxPx, in October 1998. From the end of the tour to April 1999, the band wrote a bunch of new material and waited for the Mojo deal to come together. After 6 months of butting heads with the label, they decided that maybe it wasn't the right time to move to a major label after all. Instead, they formed their own label - Heroes and Villains - and signed themselves. A good example of the "when life gives you lemons, grab it by the fucking throat and demand better" philosophy in action.
During this time, their friends and fellow Kansas City band Coalesce went on hiatus / broke up, so they asked the drummer, James Dewees, to play keyboards for them. He accepted, and they recorded the 5-song EP "Red Letter Day" with him in March 1999. It was released that July. In June, they drove to LA to record what would become their newest album, "Something to Write Home About", which was released in September, 1999. They also signed a deal with Vagrant Records to manage Heroes and Villains for them.
Their relationship with Reggie and the Full Effect remains a mystery...
* Orion says in regards to the get up kids node, the 7" on Contrast Records is in print, just hard to find. The guy who runs contrast, al, has a record store by the same name, where you can pick it up. he also does mailorder. nice guy. www.contrastrecordstore.com
- "Shorty" b/w "The Breathing Method" 7" - Huey Proudhon Records, 1996 (out of print)
- "A Newfound Interest in Massachusetts" b/w "Off the Wagon" 7" - Contrast Records, 1996 (in print, kinda - see below)
- "Second Place" b/w "Woodson" 7" - Doghouse Records, 1996 (out of print?)
- Woodson CD - Doghouse Records, 1996
- Four Minute Mile CD/LP - Doghouse Records, 1997
- "I'm A Loner Dottie, A Rebel" - Split 7" with Braid - Tree Records, 1997 (out of print)
- "Burned Bridges" - Split 7" with Coalesce - Second Nature, 1997
- "10 minutes" b/w "Anne Arbour" - Sub Pop, 1997 (out of print?)
- "Alec Eiffel" Pixies tribute - Glue Factory, 1998
- Red Letter Day CD/10" - Doghouse Records, 1999
- "On With the Show" Motley Crue cover for the "I Love Metal" tribute album - Triple Crown Records, 1999
- "Central Standard Time" Split 7" with The Anniversary - Heroes and Villains Records, 1999
- "Close to Me" The Cure cover on "Before You Were Punk II" - Vagrant Records, 1999
- Something to Write Home About CD/LP - Heroes and Villains / Vagrant Records, 1999
- "Action & Action" CD Single - Epitaph Records (Europe only), 2000